Date of Award

Fall 10-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Nancy Lawler

Third Advisor

Dr. Brian Wilson


The focus of this mixed methods study was to examine the possible differences between students who participated in the Missouri Preschool Program (MPP) and peers who did not attend the program. Areas examined through quantitative data in the study included academic achievement in communication arts in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. The qualitative piece of the study included examination of areas such as social development, emotional development, and school readiness. Quantitative data were collected from one school district in rural southwest Missouri. These data came from Aimsweb assessments conducted at the district for the kindergarten, first-grade, and second-grade levels from 2009-2010 to 2015-2016. Students were grouped into cohorts (by school year), which were divided into two groups, students who participated in the MPP and students who did not participate in the MPP. An independent samples t-test was applied to examine the difference in the means of the scores between the two groups of students. There was not a statistical difference between the Aimsweb communication arts scores of students who participated in the MPP and scores of peers who did not participate in the MPP. This statement was true at all three grade levels examined. Kindergarten, first-grade, and second-grade teachers from the district were interviewed as part of the study. The educators who participated perceived benefits of attending a preschool program to include the following: readiness to enter school, advanced social development compared to peers who remained at home prior to school entry, fine motor development, and increased parental involvement.


Copyright 2016